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Denise Trigg, mother of shooting victim Demarcus Adams, spoke with reporters Thursday night at the scene of his slaying on the city's south side.

Man, 23, shot to death as he sat in car

The Journal Gazette
Police officers process the scene Thursday night on McKee Street.
Allen County Sheriff's Department
Demarcus E. Adams

– A woman looked through the tears running down her face and into the television camera. She told whoever might end up hearing her words, "He died in my arms."

Nearby, a woman was crying and grabbing at yellow police tape, trying to get to a car parked alongside shattered glass and bullet shell casings, screaming: "Where is he? ... That's my brother."

A man in a red jacket had to be restrained by officers and some neighbors. It's his brother, too, he said.

These were the sights and sounds at Abbott and McKee streets on the city's south side Thursday night. When officers arrived about 8 p.m., they found a man who had been shot while sitting in a four-door car outside a home on the southwest side of the intersection.

The man's mother later identified him as 23-year-old Demarcus E. Adams, the father of a 3-year-old girl and the victim of a shooting at the same home last month.

The Allen County Coroner's Office confirmed his identity Friday afternoon.

"This is a message to all the mothers and all the fathers," Denise Trigg implored. "Talk to your kids. We have to take responsibility for our kids. … It's not worth it."

Trigg said she believes the shooting stemmed from a feud between the MOB street gang and another group she said has been dubbed the "2500 Block."

She said her son was not part of the gang culture but was targeted because others thought he was involved in a shooting death last month in which an 18-year-old man was found in a vacant lot near Emily and Smith streets.

Just last month, Trigg said, her son was shot outside while in an Abbott Street alley taking out the trash.

"I know they were threatening him," she said.

While neighbors continued to come out of their homes with cellphones plugged to ears or up in front of them recording everything taking place, a man with a cane wandered around in a yard, taking a look inside the car.

"I told him to leave town. I was going to give him money," said Garfield Trigg, an uncle to Demarcus Adams.

"Things were getting too crazy here," he continued. "And to go like this, like a dog … "

A police spokesman said investigators have witnesses who saw another car pull up next to the four-door and heard shots ring out, but the descriptions aren't consistent. Police are investigating the killing as a homicide, he said.

"I saw it," Denise Trigg said of the other car and of a man she knew inside. "It was like a little black station wagon."

She heard the shots and raced outside to the car. She found her son still alive, with at least one wound on the side of his head. She said he tried to fight, that he tried to live.

"He was a beautiful young man," she said.

But aside from the cries of a grieving family, the sights and sounds at the intersection of McKee and Abbott streets soon grew dimmer, quieter, a little more subdued.

Police began walking among the groups who gathered around the intersection to see what happened. Investigators asked whether anyone saw anything.

"Nope," one man said to a detective. "No, I didn't. But I wish I did."

"Well, if anyone knows of anything, or remembers anything," a detective said, "call Crime Stoppers."

And as the detective walked away, the onlookers spoke among themselves in hushed tones. They talked of the shooting, of who could be in the car and about how bad of a way it was to die.

For more on this story, pick up Saturday's print edition of The Journal Gazette or return to the website after 3 a.m. Saturday.